By The Acclaim Team on 22nd June 2022 in News
Earlier this year, we saw the new driving laws and regulations for 2022. The new rules and regulations include fines for dangerous manoeuvres, changes to overtaking, the Dutch reach, pavement parking and a new hierarchy for pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders.
While using your mobile phone when driving has always been an offence, recent driving regulation changes mean that the offence is now considered more serious, with further penalties and fines.
According to the Transport Research Laboratory, using a mobile phone behind the wheel is more dangerous than drink driving. This is why the reaction time of texting drivers is 2.8 times higher than those on the drink-drive limit.
Whether you’re a new driver or have a few years under your belt, we strongly urge you to keep up with the new mobile phone driving laws.
Mobile Phone Driving Laws
Changes to the Highway Code mean that using any type of interactive device while driving behind the wheel will be an offence. This means that even entering information into a sat-nav or other navigational device (such as a phone, sat-nav, or tablet) will now be against the law.
With that being said, using satellite navigation is not illegal if your device is safely mounted and does not obstruct your view of the road, and as long as you do not interfere with it while driving. This includes when queueing in traffic or stationary at traffic lights.
For some time, there has been confusion on whether the use of mobile phones is allowed at drive-throughs when making contactless payments.
The good news is that this isn’t currently an offence, meaning that you can use your mobile phone to make contactless payments, providing that your vehicle is stationary.
Emergency Phone Calls
The only circumstance you may use a phone while behind the wheel is when making emergency 999 calls. It’s advised to pull over at a safe place if you can and to only make the emergency call if it is unsafe to stop and do so.
Mobile Phone Usage When Stationary
Contrary to belief, you cannot use your mobile phone when your vehicle is stationary, including when you are stopped at traffic lights.
As a general rule of thumb, using your phone when the engine is running is an offence and can land you with serious consequences, such as a fine, penalty points and even a driving ban, in some circumstances.
Hands-free technology is allowed, but you may still be penalised if you are thought to be distracted.
Consequences of Driving Whilst Using a Mobile Phone
There are, of course, serious consequences of using a mobile phone while driving. These penalties will vary depending on the severity and circumstances, as well as how new of a driver you are. New drivers can face more serious consequences.
The usage of a mobile device behind the wheel can result in a minimum fine of £200. Fines for mobile phone use when driving can vary. The maximum fine for regular motorists can be up to £1,000, while lorry and bus drivers can face a more significant penalty of a £2,500 fine.
If the police feel that the incident of mobile phone usage is very serious, then you may be taken to court. If you are dealt with at the magistrates' court, it is then in the court’s discretion to decide the amount of any fine.
Driving Licence Points
You can also receive six points on your driving licence. You can be disqualified from driving if you receive 12 (or more) points within a period of 3 years.
In addition, you will also receive a further three points if using a mobile phone behind the wheel and if you do not have a clear vision of the road.
As a new driver, your licence will be revoked if you receive six (or more) points within two years of passing your test.
For more severe incidents, you may also receive a full driving ban, with never drivers losing their licence regardless of the severity.
In some circumstances, you may find that your insurance premium can be affected over time. As a new driver, you may see your insurance premium increase significantly.
Safe Driving With Acclaim Driving
These new regulations prove a greater responsibility on drivers to focus all attention on the road. It’s crucial that all drivers, including those learning to drive, are aware of these changes in order to remain safe on the roads.
Many of the rules in the Code are legal requirements, and if you disobey them, you’re committing a criminal offence. For more information on how the Highway Code changes affect driving tests, we advise reading Changes to The Highway Code: how they affect driving tests.
At Acclaim Driving, our lessons are geared towards learning in the most fun and memorable way, with new driving regulations and laws in mind. Gaining your driver’s licence can give you an incredible sense of freedom after all of the hard work you’ve put in - after all, the days and nights of research have finally paid off!
Give us a call to discuss any questions you may have or check availability on a date that suits you.